The Weekly Advertiser Horsham

New era for volleyball

- BY DAVID BERRY

Volleyball Horsham enters a new era tonight when the associatio­n’s flagship A Grade competitio­n plays for the first time at the new Holy Trinity Lutheran College stadium.

The move has come about due to the increase in participat­ion, necessitat­ing the introducti­on of a fifth grade of competitio­n.

An A Reserve grade will provide a level for players just below A Grade and includes six teams.

B Grade competitio­n also features six teams and A Grade remains strong at six teams.

Associatio­n vice-president Vaughn Maroske said with nine games required on Wednesday nights there would have been games potentiall­y starting at 10pm.

“This was out of the equation, so we inquired at Lutheran school and they were more than happy to have volleyball in their new stadium,” he said.

“Volleyball Horsham is more than pleased with the support, which was never more evident than on Monday night when our C and junior grades started, with great numbers as well.”

Associatio­n top female player Laelah Robertson said she was excited for the season ahead.

“I can’t wait to play in such a magnificen­t new stadium, especially on a centre court which will enable all the A Grade players to showcase their skills,” she said.

The A Grade competitio­n starts tonight with new-look teams, promising even games each week.

Tim Popple’s Shados Inala and Kara Johnson’s Nuggets have the honor of playing first in the new stadium.

Shados Inala will be buoyed by the inclusion of Ben Wilde, while young gun Ryan Spruyt will assume the key middle blocking role, with Clay Heard.

Hannah White retains her setter role, while Will Saligari will enjoy his pass-hitter role. Mercedes Arnott comes into the team and will play the libero role.

Nuggets welcome talented Will Brennan as number-one pass-hitter while promising junior Jack Snowden steps up. The Murtoa connection remains with Oliver Garth-lindsay, Cleo and Lloyd Baker, while Tyler Puls and Johnson bring great experience to the team.

Robertson’s Rangers take on Jack Hannan’s Tsunami, with Rangers adding associatio­n most-valuable player Jack Exell to the team.

Exell will resume acquaintan­ces with fellow former Murtoa junior Aaron Evans as his setter.

Experience­d duo Jon Fitzgerald and James Davidson take up the middle blocking roles, while promising opposite Ash Francis rounds out an even team. Tsunami adds Ronan Garth-lindsay to the key setting role, while experience­d master middle attacker Paddy Sherry has a new apprentice in Rowan Sanders stepping up into A Grade for the first time.

Shaun Bray, Delaney Wills, Alex Baker and Hannan round out a strong team.

The final game of the evening involves reigning premier Heidelberg battling new-look Hellenic Phantoms.

Nathan Berry will have Jordy Weidemann as his go-to hitter, along with the ever-improving Caleb Smith and Tamikah Dockrill as middle attackers. Big-hitting Tom Roberts and ever-consistent duo Sam Leith and Romnick Bermudez round out his team.

Dimitrios Vettos-led Hellenic Phantoms will welcome back volleyball royalty Andrew Trigg.

Trigg returns to Horsham for work and is a former state representa­tive and Horsham College gold medal National Schools Cup player.

Vettos has big-hitting Mark Block on board along with the effervesce­nt Tim Carter as setter. They will welcome back Molly Hobbs while Aidan O’connor will provide plenty of hitting power and Loucas Vettos provides a fun element to the team.

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